Winter 2003 : Back into the garage

....well thats partially true. I think the engine was deteriorating slowly as the days went by. I think blocked oil and water galleries caused overheating and poor lubrication. Eventually it just gave. Anyways, my advice : In case you find a car thats been sitting in a field for 20 years, dont just fire it up and start driving around!

As you can see by enlarging the thumb-nail, the end-caps and journals are scorched black as indicated by the arrows. The circled part is strange, something has been smooshed out the side. I dont even know what that is....?

Amgad's gonna help me lift the hood off. Geeze this place is tiny...

Take a look at the filings collected in my oil pan. They say if you see filings in the oil then you may have a problem. I can scoop out handfulls! Look to the left of the pan theres a large chunk of something! I think its part of that thing hanging off the center journal.

Anyhow, I did a compression test and all the cylindars seem fine except for one. They're symmetrical, but not uniform as you can see in this diagram :

Someone told me once that Chrsyler made a special batch of 440s for New Yorkers in '68 that was beefed up for the heavier body. Maybe thats what I've got here? I gotta check this out, i dunno? Anyways, Im gonna do a oil test in the low cylinder to figure where the drop is. I do remember Malcolm telling me that he saw a puff of black smoke when I tried to restart on the highway, so I think I blew a head gasket. Anyways when the heads come off we'll see.

I baught this book from Chapters. Its really good. Written by Don Taylor, an experienced old school engine rebuilder. Not fancy shmancy, hes clear and simple and gives straight talk. So far this book is a really good read and quite helpful, I recommend it. This is the first time ive done something like this so its nice to have some idea of what to expect, but since I seem to always dive into impossible projects, here we go. "How to rebuild Big-Block Mopar Engines. By Don Taylor"

To lift the engine out I decided on getting a roller chain-hoist to hook up to my ceiling joists. A cherry picker might have been easier, ,but the garage is too tiny to have all this heavy equipment around, and the hoist tucks away nicely. I made the hanger out of a piece of square metal stock and arc-welded it. I love welding. I tripled up the joists to have 3 2x8s strung accross the ceiling. It held.

The engines out and the tranny is wired up.

Before taking everthing apart, I invested in some quality tools. They are Starret 0.001" vernier calipers, 6" outside calipers, and an inside 2"-8" micrometer.

I got this nice 20-Gallon oil-less 2.5hp air compressor out of the paper for $240. I went to an auction in Saint Catherines and picked up this nice air-tool set for $90.

It took a day to strip the engine apart. Here is the hand-cleaned block. No apparent damage visable at all. Cylinder walls are smooth and no cracks visable. Lifter bores tight, all mains look nice and no cracks.

These nift tools helped me get some readings. my results are on the next page.

The heads are in nice shape. The springs are intact and strong and the valvs look to seal nice. The rubber seals are all but shredded and oil was seaping out slowly. One curious thing is the blocked water passageways. They are blocked becuase the head gasket doesnt fully open these guys up. I dont understand why Chrsyler does this. Its supposed to look like this!

Ahh yes. So we finally find out what the mysterious metal was. It was the #3 and #4 rods totally destroying the bearings. You can see the highlighted areas indicating a damaged rod journal, the bearings themselves and the scorched rod caps. These rods are damaged aswell.

Here is a close up. You can see the extent of the damaged ground bearings next to the good bearings. Im glad I didnt try driving home like this. That tow saved further damage.

These are the Elrassi's kids : Sarah and Justin, how did this picture get in here?? :)